You know who you are, or do you? Next month it will be 16 years since my “accident”. My world changed forever that day. The “accident” and rehabilitation are only a hazy memory now, which is probably for the best. I do, however, remember someone in rehab telling us there will be people who will step up in your new life and some who will fade into the background. This is for those of you who stepped up.
You have helped make my adjustment to the last 16 years easier. You have helped me find and participate in the activities that give me quality of life. I don’t know how we could have possibly done it without you. You have shared with me some of your most precious commodities, your time, your labor, your caring, and your effort to understand what my struggles are like. So, I want you to know who you are.
You are my wife Marge, who is always there to support me. Most of the time you are by my side, however, when necessary, you are in front leading me and when needed you are behind pushing me. You are my son, who builds adaptive stuff for me and leaves his warm house to help me go for a dog sled ride. You are my family who maintains contact and provide emotional and physical support when I need them. You are my nurses, especially Rhonda, who not only fill some difficult mornings with laughter, but also stand ready to help facilitate activities far beyond their nursing duties. You are my friends ready to take part in any of the activities I come up with. You give of your time without reservation whether it’s going kayaking, hunting or heading down to a Syracuse lacrosse game. You are my very special friend Andy, who understands my situation like no other and allows me to share the deeper struggles that go with this lifestyle. You are my neighbors who unselfishly help make living here easier. Always being available to plow our driveway, fix a door that won’t close tight, bring over some string pie or give me a bunch of gourds so I can make bird houses. You are the people at the Antique Boat Museum who come in early to transfer me into the fishing boat. You are the Goth teenagers smoking outside the mall who stop what they’re doing to open the doors for me and you’re the waitresses who make a special effort to touch my shoulder to convey their empathy.
Where I would be without you I have no way of knowing, nor do I care to know. I just want to thank you for all you have done and, I know, will continue to do for me. I know who you are and now you know who you are!